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Court Ruling on Independent Expenditures Creates New Risks for Groups

Court Ruling on Independent Expenditures Creates New Risks for Groups

A recent federal district court ruling threw out a long-standing Federal Election Commission independent expenditure donor reporting rule. There are many unanswered questions about the impact and reach of the decision. Some of these questions raise very serious First Amendment concerns about associational and donor privacy.

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NAACP v. Alabama: When “Transparency” Becomes Censorship

NAACP v. Alabama: When “Transparency” Becomes Censorship

In order for civic groups to be effective, Americans must be able to associate with their fellow citizens
privately. People behave differently when they are being watched, and this is especially true when people are monitored by the very government they are trying to reform. The right to privacy is therefore essential to the protection of First Amendment freedoms. To understand the vital relationship between privacy rights and freedom of association, we need only look to the landmark 1958 Supreme Court case, NAACP v. Alabama.

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Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

A recent opinion by Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C. poses new risks for advocacy groups and their supporters. The ruling erodes a constitutional limitation on the power of the government to compel Americans speaking about policy issues to register themselves as political committees (PACs) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

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First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

Can the government silence speech about an election simply because the speaker is a corporation? Can it deny voters the opportunity to hear a corporation’s views on issues? Forty years ago, the Supreme Court answered no in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

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SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

If one person can speak about a candidate without limit, can Congress ban two, three, or hundreds of people from joining together to do the same? That was the simple question presented in the case SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission. Fortunately, a unanimous 2010 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision said no, such a limit would violate the First Amendment. Americans can now form independent expenditure groups to raise and spend money on campaign speech without limits. Learn more about this important case.

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Latest Updates

Comments to National Park Service on Proposed Rule Regarding Demonstrations and Special Events in the National Capital Region, 83 Fed. Reg. 40460 (Aug. 15, 2018)

State Policy Network: Institute for Free Speech sues South Dakota for right to analyze ballot measures (In the News)

Taunton Daily Gazette: Beacon Hill Roll Call: Mass. Fiscal Alliance files suit against AG Healey, OCPF, over campaign finance law (In the News)

Keloland News: Federal Judge Hears The Institute For Free Speech Case (In the News)

MassLive: Mass Fiscal Alliance sues state over donor disclosure requirements (In the News)

Courthouse News Service: Opponents of Millionaire Tax Fight Massachusetts Disclosure Rules (In the News)

Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance Sues State Over Compelled Speech Requirements

Keloland News: Institute For Free Speech Files Lawsuit Regarding Two South Dakota Ballot Issues (In the News)

USA Today: Out-of-state donors are pouring cash into local campaigns of Democrats across the country (In the News)

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Free speech group sues state ahead of November election (In the News)

Institute for Free Speech Challenges South Dakota Law Regulating Speech about Ballot Measures

People United for Privacy: Private citizens in Wisconsin were harassed because of their beliefs (Video) (In the News)

People’s Pundit Daily: Conservatives Celebrate, Liberals Lament Kavanaugh Confirmation (In the News)

Statement of IFS Chairman Bradley A. Smith on Confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

Ballotpedia: North Dakota Measure 1, Ethics Commission, Foreign Political Contribution Ban, and Conflicts of Interest Initiative (2018) (In the News)

Washington Examiner: When it matters most, Americans can’t speak freely right before Election Day (In the News)

“Dark Money” Documentary Warns Viewers of the Dangers of Postcards

WOSU Columbus NPR: Dark Money and Politics (Audio) (In the News)

When You Have to Dine and Dash

Center for Individual Freedom: Judge Kavanaugh, Crowdfunding and Campaign Finance Laws (Audio) (In the News)

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